Monday, July 25, 2011

BRONZ: "Carried By The Storm"

Rating: 8/10

Label: TSM/SLW 2011

Review by: Urban "Wally" Wallstrom

Sorry, they're out of Bacon, but there's plenty of bangers, egg, chips and beans. Yep, it's the full monty, a proper English breakfast served on a sturdy platter of Bronz. Punchline? nope, there's no punchline, merely cracking leftover found at the very back of the refrigerator and it's been sitting there ever since 1985!!! Yes indeed, we're talkin' about the melodic U.K. cult band Bronz (back then with Max Bacon of Nightwish/GTR on vocals), they released their debut "Taken By Storm" in 1984 and the single "Send Down An Angel" featured sort of heavily on MTV in America and across Europe, with a video featuring the actress Emma Thompson.

"Carried By the Storm" is the never before released second album, originally recorded in 1985, it's been in the vault ever since Bronze Records went belly up that very year. Bacon's already gone for the GTR project and guitarist Shaun Kirkpatrick the only founder member had to put together a new-line up with a new singer: Ian Baker, guitarist Michael O'Donoghue (ex- Grand Prix), bassist Lee Reddings, and drummer Clive Edwards (ex- Wild Horses, UFO). Producer Max Norman (Ozzy, Y&T, 220 Volt, etc) was brought in and the album was recorded in 1985 at the Roundhouse and Powerplant studios in London, but as it was nearing completion, the record compnay went into receivership and the band split up.

What to expect from the music? Well, I like it, it's "poppy", keyboard driven, contemporary mid-eighties melodic/rock with a slightly softer touch in comparison to their debut. I'm not too keen on the opening pomp rocker, "Can't Live Without Your Love", it feels slightly boring and out of place/date from the rest of the tracks. The title track, Body Electric and Eddie Money right down to their shoe-laces and the saxophone solo (yeah, there's probably a tad of the old 'Foreigner too). "Man Girl Machine" walks down the same alley only poppier and "When The Lights Go Down" is the hallmark of Airrace and Foreigner. "You and Me" had me thinking about Roger Daltrey's solo albums of the same era. The extremely catchy numbers, "One More Time" and "Tell Her", marvelous AOR in the style of Shy and Monro. They've also covered Russ Ballard's "Two Silhouettes" and that's always been a fave anyhow. "Figure In The Dark", probably the real winner of the bunch with its hook and dut-dut keys. Technically speaking, if you love the mid-eighties sound, look no further, forget about silver and gold medals, grab yourself a Bronz platter... (darn close to a nine rating actually).

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